As a physician life coach, I’m often asked questions on the topic of impostor syndrome. It is something that all of us have experienced at least once in our lives and will likely experience again. Without understanding what it is and how to be prepared for it, impostor syndrome can feel overwhelming. You might start to feel like there is no end in sight.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Let’s get into how to say goodbye to impostor syndrome and welcome in your best self.
What is Impostor Syndrome?
Impostor syndrome “is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.”
Have you ever experienced this feeling? I know I have…on many occasions.
As a physician life coach, my goal is to help my clients through a process of discovery. I do this through active listening, asking intentional questions, collaborating on the next steps and following up on progress.
Coaching can help open up our thoughts about situations and aid in identifying our limiting beliefs. A common limiting belief we carry is impostor syndrome. It naturally comes with change and growth, but it doesn’t have to have a hold on you!
Here are some suggestions I have been thinking about in regards to impostor syndrome.
Expect Impostor Syndrome To Happen
Whenever you are going for a promotion or doing something that will bring you to the next level in your career, try to expect some type of resistance. Whether it be resistance within yourself (aka impostor syndrome) or from those around you, you should expect this to happen.
This is part of your growth pattern similar to when a growing flower has to push past the dirt in order to see the sun. During these times you may doubt yourself and your capabilities. This can be a normal process you can experience anytime you try to get a leadership position or even if you decide to have your own business.
It will happen. The key is to expect it and prepare for it.
Preparing for impostor syndrome can be tricky, but here are a few tips to help you be prepared before the impostor feelings sneak up on you:
- Write down a list of what makes you unique.
- Think about someone you look up to and begin to understand that they likely too experienced this same self-doubt.
- Build your support team around you to remind you of who you are and what you are capable of.
The trick is to have all these things ready for that moment you begin to feel like a “fraud” or “impostor”. If you are prepared, you’ll be able to face it head-on instead of trying to figure out how to dig yourself out.
Be the Best Version of Yourself
Remember, no one can beat you at being you. If you approach whatever you do as your authentic self and do your very best, you are not a fraud. Even as you show up as yourself, thoughts may creep up that you are not “good enough” or “worthy enough”.
My hope for you is you know and feel that YOU ARE ENOUGH.
If you approach impostor syndrome in this fashion, you will be able to release yourself from unnecessary pressures to be someone you are not. This is your journey to grow and bloom. We all evolve. As you move on to a new job or leadership position, this will be the story of your evolution. This is the story you can share with others who come after you.
You are smart and equipped with the intelligence to be all that you can be. Impostor syndrome has nothing on you, sister doc. I hope these tips resonate with you and help you feel empowered.
We all have a role to uplift women in medicine in some form or fashion. You do it each day by being your authentic self, being leaders in medicine, and showing the future generation what it looks like to be a woman in a white coat.
You are our future. You are our legacy. You are MORE THAN ENOUGH.
If you are ready to say goodbye to impostor syndrome and welcome confidence and balance into your life, join our free training where we cover 3 steps to help you kick overwhelm and exhaustion to the curb and live that confident and balanced life you deserve. Click here to enroll in our free training.
Amber Robins, MD, MBA is a board certified family physician, lifestyle medicine doctor, and the creator of “The Chronicles of Women in White Coats” book series. She also is a best-selling author, diversity equity and inclusion specialist, brand and business coach, physician journalist, co-founder of the Women in White Coats blog.
RELAX, GROW and CONNECT at our annual Women in White Coats CME Conference and Wellness Retreat this April 21-23, 2022 at the gorgeous Ballantyne Luxury Hotel in Charlotte, NC. Prepare to be uplifted at what will be THE CME EVENT of the YEAR for WOMEN DOCTORS. For more information, click here.
Enjoyed reading your article .I am a retired physician.Have daughter who is a physician and is having doubts.I am looking for some help.Can you please call me
What a wonderful father you are for reaching out for help for your Dr. daughter! We will send you an email and be in touch soon.